Tax-Exemption At Risk?

PUBLISHED: 11:52 PM 21 Sep 2018
UPDATED: 5:18 PM 22 Sep 2018

Left-Wing Tax-Exempt Organizations Violated IRS Rules To Protest Kavanaugh

A number of leftist tax-exempt organizations violated rules to interrupt the Kavanaugh hearings. Will they be held to task for their rule breaking?

A number of leftist 'tax-exempt' groups violated tax law, and in doing so my have put their exemption at risk.

The confirmation hearings surrounding Donald Trump’s second appointee to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, have been filled with histrionics, pandering, and politicking. Throughout the early stages of the hearings in the Senate, the political left even worked with a number of activist groups to disrupt the hearings.

According to an investigation by the Daily Caller News Foundation, that could be a problem for those activist groups. In fact, experts told the DCNF that in organizing these illegal disruptions, the organizations may have put their non-profit status in jeopardy. The Woman’s March and others made a big mistake, and their decision to fund ‘illegal’ activity could end up costing them their tax-exempt status.

Many people think that if perhaps if they had bothered to read instead of ignorantly screeching, they could have avoided all this scandal.

The Daily Caller listened in to a conference call on Monday, during which members of three groups who were behind the interruptions in the Senate hearings, called on activists to continue their civil disobedience, in hopes that they could “shut down” the hearings, which are set to resume on Monday.

The activist organizations participating in the phone call included the Women’s March, the Center for Popular Democracy Action, and Housing Works.

All of those groups provided cash for ‘post-and-forfeits’ for protestors who showed up to disrupt the hearings and didn’t bring their own money, according to CPD Action national field organizer Darius Gordon, and Housing Works national advocacy coordinator Paul Davis.

‘Post-and-forfeit’ payments are usually small cash payments, handed over to courts in order to resolve low-level misdemeanor crimes (such as those protesters might be charged with) and ensure that the people involved don’t have to serve jail time.

More than 200 protesters from across the land who connected with the #CancelKavanaugh movement, organized by the three leftist groups, were arrested for disrupting the Senate hearings.

Organizers even boasted that they planned to continue the interruptions in future Senate confirmations proceedings.

The Women’s March and CPD Action, which are both 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, and Housing Works, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, claimed the protestors as theirs, and owned the 200 arrested between September 4 and 7.

Davis with the ‘charity’ Housing Works group, even said that the organizations would help those who “do not have access” to their cash, and claimed that the group had helped others in similar situations at the earlier protests.

The senior advisor for the Woman’s March group, Winnie Wong, told CNN that the group had provided Kavanaugh protesters with a script, which suggested certain ‘messaging’ that they felt would “resonate more.”

Wong also told the left-leaning news network that her group had raised more than six figures in the first two days of the senate confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh, which they planned to use for travel, housing, legal training, and even bail for its members who attempted to disrupt the Senate.

The problem for the groups is that, under IRS rules, organizations that register as 501(c)(3) charities or 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations were not able to plan or sponsor acts of ‘civil disobedience.’

IRS rules held that organizing civil disobedience is incompatible with “charity and social welfare,” and ruling 75-384 held that any organization which sponsored such conduct “did not qualify” for the 501(c)(3) or (4) tax exemptions.

This is all listed in an IRS document which discusses instances in which organizations might lose their tax-exempt statuses.

Organizers on the Monday call described their activities as “civil disobedience,” and did so repeatedly and consistently.

An expert in campaign finance and conservative activist, Cleta Mitchell, voiced her belief that the tax-exempt status of the three groups should be scrutinized, due to their role in advocating and funding criminal actions and activity.

In a discussion with the DCNF, Mitchell state the that the Internal Revenue Service had repeatedly ruled that nonprofit activities could not involve breaking the law.

Conservative campaign finance lawyer Elliot Berke said that IRS rulings had clearly established that activities undertaken by non-profit organizations had to be consistent with the law.

Berke continued on to say that if the groups were financing any sort of law-breaking, their financial status could certainly be jeopardized.

Protestors who took part in the #CancelKavanaugh event even filled out paperwork prior to the event where they answered whether or not they could take part in civil disobedience or risk arrest.

CPD Action is the political arm of the Soros-funded Center for Popular Democracy.

The Women’s March listed Planned Parenthood as its “exclusive premier sponsor,” and listed the Natural Resource Defense Counsel Inc. as its “presenting platinum sponsor.”

Housing Works is a registered charity that received millions of dollars in funding from New York and the federal government alone.

Mitchell pointed out that the groups involved in the protest and ‘civil disobedience’ should not be using taxpayer money for criminal activity, and that the groups should be permanently barred from accepting federal funds.

However, some experts suggested that the IRS would not take any action, either because the organizations might claim that they didn’t ‘ask’ the people to involve themselves in civil disobedience, or simply because, as former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson pointed out, the IRS has frequently failed to provide proper oversight to tax-exempt organizations.

For now, the American people, the same people who watched Lois Lerner and the Barack Obama IRS harass conservative organizations, will be left waiting to see how this situation is resolved.